Microsoft’s new operating system, Windows 11, will officially launch on 5 October 2021. The upgrade will be free to Windows 10 users and eligible PCs.
The update will roll-out gradually from October 5. Microsoft says new eligible devices will get the update first. After that, the update will then roll-out over time to in-market devices based on intelligence models that consider hardware eligibility, reliability metrics, age of device, and other factors that impact the upgrade experience.
Microsoft expects all eligible devices to be offered the free upgrade to Windows 11 by mid-2022.
Microsoft highlighted several key features that will be available in the new OS:
- New design and sounds.
- New Start menu puts content at the center of the desktop and shows recent files from the cloud and Microsoft 365.
- Snap Layouts, Snap Groups, and Desktops provide more multitasking options.
- Chat from Microsoft Teams is integrated into the taskbar.
- Widgets, a new personalized feed powered by AI, promises a faster way to access the information you need.
- Enhanced gaming with DirectX12 Ultimate, DirectStorage, and Auto HDR.
- Rebuilt Microsoft Store.
- Accessibility improvements built for and by people with disabilities.
- New opportunities for developers and creators with the Microsoft Store, and new developer tools.
- Optimizations for speed, efficiency, and better experiences with touch, digital pen, and voice input.
Windows 11 will also support Android applications through a partnership with Amazon and Intel. However, this feature won’t be available at launch. A preview of this feature will be made available to Windows Insiders over the coming months.
To join this programme and try Windows 11 out early, navigate to Settings > Windows Update and choose “Windows Insider Program” to opt-in. The update will then become available to you under the Windows Update tab.